June 21, 2021

‘Onward’: a Pixar of ‘Dragons and Dungeons’ in the suburbs | Culture


Pixar it will have taken a weird feeling from the Berlinale First, due to its soulless press pass: in a few occasions it has been seen a patio of seats more soulless than that of the first projection of Onward, from Dan Scanlon, the 22nd film of the animation studio. Second, because of the criticisms, lukewarm, that they look for an easy parallel between the narrated story (a world of elves, fairies, manticores and centaurs, who lived imbued in magic, until civilization and technological innovations could with it and the warehousing) and the future of the company. Its director, Dan Scanlon, has used his own life as a source of inspiration, and probably at that time the best of Onward, which has a world premiere scheduled for March 6.

In a gray world, which has forgotten the witchcraft of the past, a reconversion of the world of Dungeons and Dragons in the American suburbs of little houses with front lawn, a teenage elf, Ian (who puts a voice Tom Holland), lives marked by the absence of his father, who died when he was a baby and whom his older brother, Barley (with the voice of Chris Pratt), barely met. Barley still believes in recovering the old witchcraft, and when Ian turns 16, his mother gives him a gift from his father, which he has hidden for three years: it turns out to be an old magic cane (style Lord of the Rings), with which the kid and his brother try to resurrect his offspring, with strange consequences. They can only resuscitate him from the waist down (belt, pants, shoes and purple socks) and have 24 hours to recover the rest.

Scanlon also lost his father when he just turned one year old and his older brother, three. “I always wanted to have a conversation with him, to solve thousands of questions,” recalled the filmmaker, also responsible for Monsters University, In the press conference in Berlin of Onward And if Ian has a cassette where a banal conversation is heard from his father, the director keeps a recording made by his aunt in which people are heard in a room saying that his father is not there . “Until he appears and my aunt asks him to say something. Release ‘Hello’. And my aunt insists: something else. And says goodbye: ‘Goodbye’. For my brother and for me it was pure magic,” says Scanlon. “Today my trick is on the screen to use magic as the potential that we all hide inside us. As a director, I encourage the actors to do their best. But it applies to our lives: let’s have courage to develop our potential.”

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Dan Scanlon, upon arrival at the premiere of 'Onward', in Berlin.



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Dan Scanlon, upon arrival at the premiere of ‘Onward’, in Berlin. Getty Images

For the suburbs, which appear in Los Angeles on screen, Scanlon relied on those of his native Michigan; for that love of witchcraft from Barley, he mixed Dragons and dungeons, Lord of the Rings and the rock of the seventies; and put a platoon of writers to write the spells that are heard in Onward, Probably the most fun of the film. That, and the father who only communicates with his feet.

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